Editted version features in RVA Magazine - https://rvamag.com/music/peter-un-still-scummy-sunny.html
There is undoubtedly a difference between the musical influences associated with the east coast versus the west, but what happens when they merge? Los Angeles-based rapper Peter $un released his EP, “Valencia,” giving Richmond a taste of what it sounds like to be bi-coastal. After releasing his 2017 album, “Beautiful Piece of Shit,” the Richmond-born rapper decided to take the leap and relocate to Los Angeles. This was not without sacrifice though, forcing him to leave behind his concrete support system in order to pursue the growth and development of his artistry.
A strong support system is what’s contributed to the rapper’s success, in both his hometown and his new home base. “It’s everyone around me. A lot of people have contributed to my art, or to a piece of me, in a way that involves pushing me to go further with my music,” he said.
Pointing to his friends in the room, and giving out a shout out to the producers he’s worked with, Peter $un said all of the those he’s come across have helped him get to where he is today. “It’s always love, and they’re the reason why I try to show love to as many people as I can, because you can be contributing to something or vice versa and have no idea of it in the moment.” Over the course of his first year in LA, and with the help of producer Lasik Beats, he created “Valencia,” which he dropped two months ago. Named after the street he lives on in downtown Los Angeles, $un said the project was something that organically fell together over time.
Excitedly, he shared that it was the first time in a long time that he had made an album just out of “fun”. No overthinking. No expectations of how it’ll be received by his fans. Just raw vibes. Just genuine Peter $un. The sunny and upbeat California vibes weren’t his only motivation. He understood that in order to make a well-rounded and relatable album, he’d need to incorporate some slightly more serious influences. Initially, he spoke to the struggle of the long distance and the emotion involved with being separated from his family and friends. Not to mention, the efforts it takes to adapt to life in a new place. Outweighing both is the distance that was now put between him and his son. Not just states, but time zones. When listening to his album, you can feel both the hurt and the happiness. The beats radiate the energy of a fun, summertime turnup, but the bars have some subliminal messages. He conveys concern over everyday struggles such as women, what it means to live a happy and fulfilling life, and staying true to one’s authentic self despite your success. For example, in his song “Evry Thng Nvv” he raps, “I was broke when I switched up, so money can’t change an asshole too much.” A statement that is proving to be true based on the longevity of his fans and supporters.
Keeping up the brand is a big part of being an artist in the industry. While $un said he hasn’t had to alter it at all as he’s gained success, its been hard for him to keep up a certain image.
“I think it’s about how you come out of the gate. I’ve always been about being myself,” he said. “Actually, when I first came out my thing was being a drunk. I’d be drunk and wild, “Scummy Sunny”. I was the “scum” brand. As I’ve grown as an artist and as I get older, I’m not drinking like that no more. All heavy and wild and shit. But it’s still expected of me, even now, so it’s not hard to keep up.”
In a generation focused on social media and superficial validation, it is refreshing to see an artist that isn’t buying in. That, even after monetizing his music, he still stays genuine to himself and supports the “scum” brand and still loves the family and friends that have helped him, and will continue to help him, climb up the ladder to further success as an artist.
Now that “Valencia” has been released and is creating waves, $un isn’t sitting back and relaxing, he’s already toiling away on his next work.
“I’ve currently got three projects in the works. Two are already done and one I’m starting to work on now,” he said. “One project is with Gyyps, which we’re finishing up, but I’ve got some songs coming out with him this month on a Mike and Keys project. I’ve also got a project with Rondo which will probably be the next thing we put out because that’s like, my baby.”
Keep up with Peter $un’s music and forthcoming projects on his Instagram @scummysunny.